Toyah & Robert’s Sunday Lunch, Basingstoke 2023

During lockdown one of the things that many took great delight in was Toyah & Robert Fripp’s weekly videos where they would cover another artist’s song in their own style. What made these so watchable wasn’t so much that Toyah barely dressed for the videos (although that obviously helped) but that Fripp would wear make-up and put his hair in a Mohican. For someone with such an austere reputation, this was somewhat of a revelation. When they said that they were taking this on tour I decided it would be great to be there.

They came on backed by Toyah’s house band. Fripp is, how can I put this, pretty finicky. He remains seated for the whole performance (including the bow at the end) and when he comes on he spends ages putting on his noise-cancelling headphones, plugging them into the remote, putting talc on his hands and guitar before signalling to the MD, who was dressed as if he’d come straight from his day job as a funeral director and had been ready ages, that he’s good to go.

It was all worth the wait though as Toyah came on and then played through so many great tracks such as Heart of Glass, Heroes, Relax, Echo Beach and a handful of Toyah greats but, sadly, nothing from Exposure or King Crimson.

Between each song, there was some chat from Toyah and interaction with her husband all clearly rehearsed but great fun nevertheless. All in all, I had a blast and, by the looks of it, so did they which always helps.

At one point during a chat between Toyah and Fripp she turned to the audience and said “You don’t get this at a King Crimson concert”. You certainly don’t and maybe it was all the better for that.

I approved of Mr Fripp’s socks too!

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